The carpet cleaning industry has evolved in recent years and experts comment that 2012 will be no different. According to Mark Baxter, engineer and product manager for U.S. Products, many of the changes are interrelated. He lists the following predictions for the coming year:

• Disappearing Carpets — More facilities are installing hard-surface flooring instead of carpets; this has been evolving for years, and while it is certainly not true in all situations, it is becoming more and more apparent.

• Carpet Cleaners Clean Floors — With the increase of hard flooring, more carpet cleaning technicians will offer floor cleaning services; this has been made easier with the introduction of rotary tools for hard surface extraction that connect directly to portable hot-water carpet extractors.

• Mobility Opens New Doors for BSCs — BSCs who have shied away from cleaning carpets, mainly because some extractors have proven too costly or too difficult to maneuver and transport, are now selecting portables that are more cost effective and mobile, offering their customers carpet cleaning as an add-on service.

• New Markets for Carpet Cleaners — Carpet cleaning technicians who have historically focused on residential carpet cleaning have seen this market contract and will put greater emphasis on commercial carpet cleaning in schools, offices, restaurants, etc.

• Low Moisture — Although certainly not new, the trend toward low-moisture carpet cleaning will grow in 2012. Environmental concerns, including water conservation issues, are moving to the forefront.

Another trend Baxter foresees in 2012 "is the growing understanding that using heat in carpet and hard surface cleaning and extraction is a green process. Surfaces dry faster, chemicals work more effectively so less may be needed, all helping to protect the environment."